Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

[FORUM] What unexpected technologies (and technological drawbacks) do you expect from the future?

This morning, I posted about space-themed toys of the 1960s, relics of an era when everyone expected ubiquitous space travel on a scale far exceeding what we've accomplished now. Mind, we probably couldn't have reached those glorious heights, with the moneys required and the technologies needing development and the economic rationale, really, quite lacking. Still, if we could have it would have been grand. Moon miners collecting ores and helium-3? O'Neill colonies actually built and with viable ecologies at the Lagrange points? Mars bases, even colonies? Humanity spread out even further afield? We'll have to wait a century for that, I suspect.

This afternoon, I posted about the pressing interest and likely catastrophes associated with transhumanism-inspired upgrades to the human body. I suspect that we'll be able to achieve fairly radical modifications and extensions of the human organism before we go into space. Indeed, as in the film Gattaca people venturing into space will need to be augmented. I also expect that transhumanism will produce horrors, whether the dead-end and damaging technologies of the first generation of augmented humans or in the discrimination faced by the non-augmented, or even by the people whose augmentations aren't enough. Transhuman Space featured, as a background element, a minor genetic fix adopted for a generation of Algerian children that did provide modest improvements in overall health, but also gave that generation congenital epilepsy. As for the brainchips, apart from all kinds of scarring and dysfunction, imagine if the brainchip was the equivalent of a 1990 Mac--or worse, a 1990 Amiga--while all the other brainchips went the MS/DOS-Windows route.

The future can evolve in unexpected ways, some technologies not developing, some not being deployed, some certain to have negative results in the short-term. Can you think of any many technologies under development that might not develop as planned, or might not develop at all? Will genetic engineering turn out to be much more difficult than expected, say, or space travel remain limited to robots indefinitely, or for the ever-increasing density of informatics to stop increasing?

Tags: forums, futurology, science fiction, space travel, transhumanism

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